Throughout the years I have often come across people who preach a theology of power, security, order and exclusion. What they advocate is a kind of hierarchy where God unveils the Christian message to the powerful who then see it as their mission to determine what should and what should not be passed on to the weak and vulnerable. I believe that this is done in order to keep the status quo and thus the overarching structure in place. Those in power clings desperately to their positions and this has caused their theology to represent themselves rather than Christ and his kingdom. This, I claim, is a complete and utter failure of the Church and this must change if we desire for the kingdom of God to fundamentally transform the world. We therefore need to direct a radical critique against the persistent order of the world if we have any intentions of speaking with a prophetic voice to those who live around us.
Christ was crucified in weakness and despair but very seldom do you see those claiming to be his highest and most worthy representatives open up their lives for the existential hell that Christ went through, and the consequence is a disastrous situation for the ones who are weak since they do not perceive God as present in their suffering, doubts or solitude. Christ cried out ‘why have you forsaken me’ as he lived through his final hour at the cross and many people would like to cry out with him but they cannot since the structure that captures their lives does not provide a language that makes such a cry possible, rather they are led to believe that God has orchestrated their suffering for a purpose that transcends their individual experience.
For this very reason I believe that the Church needs to embrace the absurdity and ambiguity of life since such an embrace is necessary for hope and freedom to truly become visible in the same way as death must precede resurrection. Behind these words hides the profound biblical affirmation that God is present in suffering and that reconciliation and new creation is possible as a result of Christ’s emptying of himself at the cross for the sake of the world. The transforming power of the Christian faith does therefore not come from some distant power in the sky or from church leaders with slick suits or prestigious hats but from the embrace of the other while facing death and destruction. That is how I believe that God becomes visible in the midst of human misery.